Category Archives: exercise

Spring Cleaning: Wiping out Negative Body Talk

Let's do some "spring cleaning"!

In honor of spring, I’m initiating a little spring cleaning.  But instead of cleaning closets and windows and cars, this year I’m going to try clean up some of my habits, and assumptions and attitudes.  When cleaning closets or the garage, I’m pretty brutal about tossing out things that I no longer need or want.  So this year, I’m going to throw away a few habits and attitudes that just aren’t working for me any more.  I’m going to pull out the big trash can, and I’m going to start with negative body talk.

Does this sound familiar?

“I hate my thighs!”

“Does my butt look big in this?”

“I can’t believe she’s wearing that.”

“Why can’t I have hair like hers?  Mine is too flat.”

Yup, those phrases represent negative body talk–those little phrases we say inside our heads or share with friends in conversation that put down that most magnificent and beautiful and personal gift, our bodies.  Negative body talk is everywhere.  Our friends do it.  Our families do it.  And most of us do it from time to time.

So what’s wrong with it?  Plenty.  Negative body talk has an immediately detrimental effect on our physical and mental health.  A recent article highlights some studies that indicate that “fat talk predicts changes in depression, body satisfaction, and perceived pressure to be thin across time.”  According to one study, the more fat talk a person talked, the worse they felt–resulting in lower body satisfaction and increased depression after 3 weeks.

Negative body talk is bad for us, and it’s everywhere.  So why do we do it?  I imagine sometimes it’s to fit in and sometimes it’s because we feel bad.  But a lot of times, I think we do it because we don’t even recognize we’re doing it.  You see, negative body talk can be kind of sneaky.  Sure, we recognize a phrase like “I hate my butt” as negative body talk.  But negative body talk can also be much more subtle:

“I’m exercising so I can tone up and look good in a swimsuit.”

“I can show my arms because they look okay, but not my thighs.”

“That dress just doesn’t look good on certain body types.”

“I don’t need to look like a supermodel.  I just want to look good in shorts.”

This kind of negative body talk can be harder to recognize, but it’s negative body talk all the same.  It’s still damaging.  It’s something that “doesn’t work for me any more.”  And this spring I’m working to throw it all out.

So my little chicklettes, how about you?  Ready for some spring cleaning?  Let’s get out some big cardboard boxes and the super big industrial-sized trash bags and get ready to clean house!

Love,

The Fat Chick

Heavenly Bodies: The Joy of Being a Rock Star!

This past weekend, I did my new “Divaluscious” workout (honoring the academy awards) at the Operation Fitness Expo at the Century City Mall near Beverly Hills, CA.  I was so very lucky and honored to have some very, very special women with me from NAAFA-LA including Coral, Julianne, Anita and Terry.  We all donned our feather boas, big blingy sparkly rings and strutted on to the stage.  We boogied down to some great size-positive tunes and rocked the crowd of several hundred people that were hanging about.  Perhaps the best part is for minutes after we finished, brightly colored feathers continued to swirl about in the breeze like a super-awesome technicolor snow.  Yup, we were so powerful we changed the WEATHER.  That’s just the way we roll.  The event producer called the next day to say how much he loved watching us.  “You guys were ROCK STARS!” he exclaimed.

I have to admit, being referred to as a “Rock Star” feels pretty darn good.  I mean compared to all of the other things I’ve been called in the past few weeks, rock star is one that I’ll take.  But it struck me what an amazing contrast this posed to the recently released (and subsequently unreleased, soon to be re-released) Habit Heroes exhibit at Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida.  This exhibit was designed to help kids learn healthy habits by highlighting healthy heroes like “Will Power” and “Callie Stenics”.  Unfortunately they also highlight some bad guys like, “Sweet Tooth” and “Lead Bottom” and “The Snacker” (pictures below) who look an awful lot like terrible caricatures of fat people in our country.  Amidst the epic poo storm of controversy over the potential for this exhibit to shame and harm children of all sizes, Disney has closed the exhibit and the accompanying website for “retooling”.  (Which is Disney speak for rethinking the exhibit while the studio marketing folks retool their resumes).

Which leads us all back to the rock star thing.  Why can’t we make healthy role models for kids who don’t look like SI Swimsuit Models?  Why can’t the health role models for kids be as diverse as, you know, the kids?  How can we help ALL kids feel like rock stars?  I humbly submit that there are some answers in the picture below:

This picture shows the NAAFA-LA girls strutting their stuff in all their boaed and bejeweled glory right along with some thin people.  Up front and center, you’ve got a little kid dancing along.  And what message is this kid learning?  That fat people are sad and should stay home and hide until they get skinny?  That fat people never exercise?  That fat people and thin people are different species from one another?  Nope!  She’s learning that people of all sizes have the right and the ability to get out and shake their stuff!

This is why we women of ALL sizes need to let our inner rock stars shine through.  Not just because it feels awesome.  (And it CAN feel awesome!)  But because it gives kids of all sizes some REAL healthy heroes to admire and emulate.

So my dear chicklettes, I implore you.  Get yourself some bling, some righteous tunes, and go shake it like the rock star you are!

Love,
The Fat Chick

The supremacy of sweat pants

Dancing with Sandra Hull (Lolcatburglar) of Lolcat Fame in my super stretchy awesome clothes!

My dear friend Ragen and I were chatting on the phone the other day.  She was killing time and talking to me while she was people watching at the airport when she remarked, “that chick’s wearing 4-inch heels at an airport.  What’s up with that?”  I assured her that I had no idea.  And I further explained why I had decided to work in the fitness industry.  “Well I love to dance and I love to help people.  And fitness is fun!  But mostly I just wanted to work in a job where I can wear tennis shoes and sweat pants every day.”  Ragen said, “That sounds like a blog post.  If you don’t write it, I will.”  So I did and here we are.

In fact, I’ve spent most of my adult life moving from the least comfortable clothes to the most.  Most of you are probably blissfully unaware that I studied opera in college.  Yup, you heard it right–opera.  That meant lots of costumes–often with big heavy wigs, lots of makeup, long skirts and corsets.  Oh, there were other compensations.  I also got to wear glittery jewelry and have a gig where I was often actually required to wear a tiara.  And sometimes I got to,  you know, sing and stuff.  But after a while, those clothes got pretty darn uncomfortable.  I couldn’t wear it to Starbucks and I certainly couldn’t nap in it.

Next I started working in corporate America.  The skirts were shorter, but the heels were higher.  8-10 hour-days in even medium-height pumps was agony. And while you could go order a Triple, Ventissimo, Frapalatte in this get up,  you certainly couldn’t nap in it.  It was still stiff and confining.  After I while, I started my own business so I could at least wear jeans most days.

Then I started working in the fitness industry.  Now, I get to wear stretchy exercise pants, and super awesome sports bras and tennis shoes almost every day.  This is the career for me!  I’ll never forget the first time I did a fitness trade show.  Not only was it not  a fashion crisis to wear the most comfortable stuff in my closet, but also it was what I was supposed to wear.  I was invited to wear clothes that passed both the “go get coffee” and  the “nap on the sofa” test.  Oh happy day!

Seriously kids, the comfort and sheer awesomeness of exercise clothes is difficult to overstate.  You get to wear super comfortable shoes that come in awesome colors and even have sports detailing like race cars.  And the pants?  Even Margaret Cho waxes rhapsodic about yoga pants.  They are comfy, yes.  But they are also flexible.  They allow you to occupy and move through space like you own the joint.  They allow you to bend and stretch and reach and dance.  Exercise clothes allow you to just breathe.  So if you’re looking for a reason to work out–here’s one.  Exercising is a wonderful excuse to wear exercise clothes, which in turn allow you to move and stretch and dance and breathe. 

So my little chicklettes, why not don all your super awesome stretchy stuff and dance with me?  If you live near LA, you can join me for a Divaluscious Workout this Saturday.  Or you can always join me for my free live streaming workouts.  Or just listen in tomorrow night (Tuesday, February 21) when I’ll be interviewed by Golda Poretsky along with Anna Guest-Jelley at the 2012 Body Love Revolutionaries Summit.  And whatever else you choose, just breathe.

Love,
The Fat Chick